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Strategic Behavior and Underpricing in Uniform Price Auctions: Evidence from Finnish Treasury Auctions

  • Keloharju, Matti
  • Nyborg, Kjell G.
  • Rydqvist, Kristian

We contribute to the debate on the optimal design of multiunit auctions by developing and testing robust implications of the leading theory of uniform price auctions on the bid distributions submitted by individual bidders. The theory, which emphasizes market power, has little support in a dataset of Finnish Treasury auctions. A reason may be that the Treasury acts strategically by determining supply after observing bids, apparently taking into account that the auctions are part of a repeated game between the Treasury and the primary dealers. Bidder behavior and underpricing are affected by the volatility of bond returns in a way that suggests bidders adjust for the winner’s curse.

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Paper provided by Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA in its series University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management with number qt6v17p79w.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:anderf:qt6v17p79w
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Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/anderson_fin/

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  1. Hoidal Bjonnes, Geir, 2001. "Winner's Curse in Discriminatory Price Auctions: Evidence from the Norwegian Treasury Bill Auctions," SIFR Research Report Series 3, Institute for Financial Research.
  2. Wilson, Robert, 1977. "A Bidding Model of Perfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 511-18, October.
  3. Ilan Kremer, 2004. "Underpricing and Market Power in Uniform Price Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(3), pages 849-877.
  4. Nyborg, Kjell G. & Sundaresan, Suresh, 1996. "Discriminatory versus uniform Treasury auctions: Evidence from when-issued transactions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 63-104, September.
  5. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F, 1993. "Auctions of Divisible Goods: On the Rationale for the Treasury Experiment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(4), pages 733-64.
  6. Jaime F. Zender & James J.D. Wang, 2002. "Auctioning divisible goods," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 673-705.
  7. Kandel, Shmuel & Sarig, Oded & Wohl, Avi, 1999. "The Demand for Stocks: An Analysis of IPO Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 12(2), pages 227-47.
  8. Wilson, Robert, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-89, November.
  9. Kjell G. Nyborg & Kristian Rydqvist & Suresh M. Sundaresan, 2002. "Bidder Behavior in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from Swedish Treasury Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 394-424, April.
  10. Sushil Bikhchandani & Chi-fu Huang, 1993. "The Economics of Treasury Securities Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 117-134, Summer.
  11. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  12. Spindt, Paul A. & Stolz, Richard W., 1992. "Are US treasury bills underpriced in the primary market?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 891-908, September.
  13. Yasushi Hamao & Narasimhan Jegadeesh, 1998. "An Analysis of Bidding in the Japanese Government Bond Auctions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(2), pages 755-772, 04.
  14. Kyle, Albert S, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 317-55, July.
  15. Cammack, Elizabeth B, 1991. "Evidence on Bidding Strategies and the Information in Treasury Bill Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 100-130, February.
  16. Keloharju, Matti & Malkamäki, Markku & Nyborg, Kjell G. & Rydqvist, Kristian, 2002. "A descriptive analysis of the Finnish treasury bond market 1991–1999," Research Discussion Papers 16/2002, Bank of Finland.
  17. Ilan Kremer & Kjell G. Nyborg, 2004. "Divisible-Good Auctions: The Role of Allocation Rules," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(1), pages 147-159, Spring.
  18. Kjell G. Nyborg, 2004. "Multiple Unit Auctions and Short Squeezes," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 545-580.
  19. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  20. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
  21. Umlauf, Steven R., 1993. "An empirical study of the Mexican Treasury bill auction," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 313-340, June.
  22. Back, Kerry & Zender, Jaime F., 2001. "Auctions of divisible goods with endogenous supply," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 29-34, October.
  23. Goldreich, David, 2003. "Underpricing in Discriminatory and Uniform-Price Treasury Auctions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Goswami, Gautam & Noe, Thomas H & Rebello, Michael J, 1996. "Collusion in Uniform-Price Auctions: Experimental Evidence and Implications for Treasury Auctions," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 757-85.
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